Families smuggling pasties into care home after ban
RELATIVES of residents in a Plymouth care home have reacted furiously to a ban on pasties following criticism from the health watchdog.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has taken enforcement action against Fairglen Residential Home, in Whitleigh, after inspectors reported that the home was failing to meet the nutritional needs of its residents.
Relatives of residents in the home have reacted with anger to the report saying it is “unfair”, “total madness” and “a travesty”.
Inspectors from the CQC visited Fairglen, which cares for adults with learning disabilities, in May and June.
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Their report, published this week, states that enforcement action has been taken because the provider “did not ensure that people had full access to a choice of suitable and nutritious food and hydration.”
It states: “It was noted that a high proportion of the menu included meals with a high fat content, including pasties and pies.”
It added that this type of food “had been chosen regularly by some people and in some cases those who had a specific requirement to have a low-calorie healthy diet”.
“We saw minimal evidence of people being supported to make healthy, informed food choices.”
Inspectors also reported that the home was failing in three other areas: respecting and involving people who use services; care and welfare of people who use services; and assessing and monitoring the quality of service provision.
Julie and Janette Hooper, whose relative has been at Fairglen for many years, said: “We are angry at the CQC report. It’s stupid. If the residents want pasties and pies then the home shouldn’t be penalised for putting them on the menu.
“Yes these people have learning difficulties, but they still have the right to choose what they eat.
“It’s an unfair measure by the CQC. Who made them dieticians? It’s total madness.”
Meryl Watterson, whose son resides at Fairglen,said: “I think it’s an unfair report. If my son wants a pasty he should be allowed it and if it’s no longer available on the premises he will just go to the local shop and buy one.”
Paul Stone, 45, from Whitleigh, said he would be writing to the CQC to voice his concerns.
“My relative’s weight has actually been brought down since being in the home. It’s a travesty and I will be writing to complain.
“I have every confidence in the management and staff at Fairglen and I am confident that my relative is being cared for in a safe and healthy manner.”
Registered providers Gyaneshwar Purgaus and Santee Sawock said Fairglen offered a varied and balanced menu with pasties, pies and sausage rolls accounting for only a small proportion of the food on offer.
“We can only advise our residents on what to eat, not restrict them,” said Miss Sawock.
“We provide salads every single day of the week but at the end of the day the residents choose what they want to eat from the menu.”
Miss Sawock said that as soon as the CQC’s warning notice was issued she informed relatives and also arranged for each resident to see their own GP to check nobody was suffering from any health complaints relating to nutrition.
“Every single resident was found to be healthy,” she said. “Since the report by the CQC we have also stopped serving pasties, sausage rolls and pies but our residents’ family members say it’s restricting their right to choose. They are annoyed. Residents have now started going to the local shop to buy pasties and pies out of their own money. We have always offered residents a balanced healthy diet.”
The CQC has asked Fairglen to send them a report by Tuesday setting out the action it will take to meet the standards. The health watchdog will reinspect in due course to ensure the actions have been taken.